A combination of an encouraging administrator and a dedicated teacher has seen Calmar Secondary School (CSS) develop into one of the best technical schools in rural Alberta.
This development began a few years ago when Principal Dennis Dunlop, with the help of some funding was able to acquire a number of precision machines and interested Instructor Darren Roth in expanding the industrial arts program. Since then Mr. Roth has spent countless hours adding to his knowledge through workshops and summer programs. What was once a dream is now a major program and Calmar has shown its ability to match the largest schools in Alberta with their students’ skill and knowledge.
Through various donations, fund raising, and gifts the program is equipped with nearly a quarter million dollars of precision machinery equipment making CSS one of the best equipped schools in Alberta.
In 2014 alone, students Jorn Peeters, Conley Wurban, Tucker Weldon placed in the top four in the province at the provincial Skills Canada Competition with Jorn going on to take the Bronze Medal at the national level. This year all three are grade 12 students and looking for gold and a trip to the national championship.
The Provincial Skills Canada Competition (PSCC) features high school and post-secondary students from across Alberta, competing in trade and technical events. The competition areas range from auto-body repair to welding, precision machinery to baking. During the two-day competition, each student specializes in one event area and must complete a project that has been designed by experts in that field.
In order to qualify for the provincial competition Calmar holds a mini competition with the top three advancing to the Provincial Skills Canada Competition, which will be held this year on May 13-14, 2015 in Edmonton at the Northlands EXPO Centre. This year eight different students entered the competition with Jorn Peeters, Conley Wurban, and Tucker Weldon advancing.
Like any successful endeavour Calmar’s success requires the efforts of a team. From a supportive principal, to a dedicated teacher, to enthusiastic students, and strong parental and community support CSS’s has a very strong team, which should provide the students of CSS, Thorsby, and Warburg with opportunities not normally found in a rural school.
An inspirational teacher always helps to encourage students to stretch their skills and abilities and Mr. Roth is such a teacher. Even as the team prepares for the provincial competition Mr. Roth is continuing to challenge them to improve.